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Close to 200 residents who attended a special Hawthorn Board of Education meeting this week were presented with two options to help address enrollment capacity issues in District 73’s schools and provide upgraded facilities for the future of education at Hawthorn.

Both options call for constructing a kindergarten center onto the Sullivan Center, bringing the early childhood program back to the Hawthorn campus, purchasing 11 acres of land across from Elementary School South, and building facilities so students can explore the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

The Hawthorn Core Team, which spent thousands of hours researching solutions to space constraints, recommends an option that would include the construction of a new elementary school, adding additions to all the schools for STEM, building a wing onto the Sullivan Center for kindergarten, and building additions to schools where additional space is needed for PE classes, music and art programs.

According to Consulting Demographer John D. Kasarda, Ph.D., Hawthorn shows an increased enrollment by as much as 500 students in the next five years. Hawthorn has been experiencing space capacity challenges in its school buildings for several years resulting in specials programs being taught in mobile classrooms, on a movable cart, and in the cafeteria and hallways.

At 7 p.m. Monday, December 12, District Office, 841 West End Ct, Vernon Hills, the Board is expected to discuss the options further and anticipates making a decision on one of the options.

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Interactive Boundary Map

For your convenience we now have an interactive and searchable boundary map available.

BOE Approves Reorganization Plan

The Hawthorn School District 73 Board of Education voted Monday to reorganize its district into neighborhood (boundary) schools beginning with the 2015-16 year. For this reorganization plan, students entering Grades 3 through 5 in 2015 may stay in their current school or opt out of this and go to their newly assigned school if there is available space. In other key business, the Board approved free full day kindergarten for all its students, which will also begin in the fall of 2015.

Superintendent Nick Brown stated, “Full day kindergarten is hugely successful in other districts and has had a significant impact on those districts in their ability to prepare and meet the needs of the student populations.”

With full day kindergarten as well as with grandfathering, parents have the option to opt out of the offers. Parents may choose half day kindergarten for their child but would be responsible for picking up their child midday.

With the reorganization decision behind, school board members and the administration will now work to determine boundary lines for neighborhood schools.

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